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I TALK TO Ashley Jensen & Stewart Wright

We're already two episodes in to Love And Marriage, and in the third episode we get to explore more the relationship between Kevin and Sarah, played by Stewart Wright and Ashley Jensen. I caught up with them on set earlier on this year.

First of all, how would you best describe your characters?


Stewart: How would I describe Kevin? He is, quite extreme... 


Ashley: A force of nature. Are you the youngest of the three children? 


Stewart: Erm... no I think I'm the oldest. 


Ashley: Well, you're the joker really aren't you? We consider ourselves the 'fun' family.


And how many kids do you have?


Ashley: We have three. We have a 15 year-old, a 13 year-old and a, clearly an accident, 6 month-old. And we have been SO lucky on this job with all the kids who have been involved in it. They've all been amazing.


Even down to the two babies who are 6 months old down to George who's, 17 really playing 15. But they're just so responsive and so open and really bright and just dead up for it.


What's Sarah like as a character?


Ashley: Quite sensible actually, although she likes a bit of fun. I mean obviously they have a good laugh together and I think their relationship is based on, a lot of it, having a good time. They really love each other and they're a really happy family. But I mean Sarah's a bit of a rock to his kind of chaos.


You say 'chaos' - is Kevin really just a big kid?


Ashley: A total big kid! (Laughs). If there's fun to be had, Kevin's there, if there's not fun to be had, he's there making it.


How do Kevin and Sarah react to Pauline leaving?


Ashley: Well it's disrupted everybody's life hasn't it? And I think your main task... 


Stewart: Yeah, I get very busy trying to get them back together. Sort of trying to glue the family back together again. Because Kevin feels like he's at the centre of the family you know, he's quite self-important. So I think he feels he's the one that needs to rally everyone together and get the two of them back together. He suggests that they get some counselling, he's a bit of a meddler. 


Ashley: Yes, he is a bit of a meddler. But he means well and his heart is in the right place. And I think Pauline and Ken have been such a rock, and they're the people we all look up to, so when the relationship becomes fractured, everyone panics a little bit because that's who we've all looked up to.


What is it that makes Kevin steal money throughout the series?


Stewart: Well, he's under financial pressure. He's lost his job. They're trying to get their son onto the Rugby tour. 


Ashley: He steals from a good place - if you ever can! The most important thing for him is his family and not letting his family down. A lot of this show is about family and the strength of family, supporting each other and being there for each other. I think that attracted me to the programme is it does make a very warm, optimistic drama about people who love and care  for each other really.


Ashley, you've been in America for quite a while, did you always want to come back?


Ashley: I did. I kind of felt like we always knew it wasn't going to be forever, because I'm from Britain and all the stars seemed to align, and just now felt like the right time to come back to Britain. I think that when you're working in Britain, you're able to do lots of different jobs. Where as when I was in Ugly Betty it was nine months of the year doing one job and you can't really do anything else. 


Where as this is a series and it's completed, the whole thing, in 12 weeks and then you can either - have a wee holiday, or you can go onto something else that will take a month, or another 12 weeks. It's easier to just kind of do more, varied work for me certainly. I seem to be able to jump between comedy and drama here easier than I could in America.


I hear you're all staying in the same hotel up here, is that helping the cameradarie?


Ashley: We're a very happy bunch actually. It's a really really great bunch of people. And I think what's nice is that all the different generations get on really well. And it's great to be working with people like Alison (Steadman) and Celia (Imrie) and Larry (Lamb) and Duncan (Preston) - I think we were all quite excited to be working with the 'legendary quartet'.


Love And Marriage continues Wednesdays at 9pm on ITV

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